What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

Caulking Is Not Intended To Be Used As A Filler

Despite what I routinely see, caulking is not intended to be used as a filler.

Caulking is a sealer!  It is a weather guard!  It can also act as a glue!

But it is not putty.  It is not foam.  It is not intended for gaps or openings wider than 1/2"!  Typically the gap should not exceed 1/4".  And for the most part, the better things are fitted together and the smaller the bead of caulking the longer the job will last.

Read the label.  All caulking comes with labels that explain the parameters of any application - where, how, when, with what other products, and under what conditions to apply it.

So why do I so often see new construction where the "professionals" have carpentry skills that regularly cut things too short or too narrow, and then to make up for it try to fill the gap with caulking?

Window trim all over this expensive new construction was cut such that the large gaps will filled like the photo on the left.  Who know when this caulking was applied, but it was soft and bulging outward.

The trim around the palladium window on the right was cut such that the gaping 1" space was also filled with caulking.  It was similarly soft to the touch and bulging.

Such large amounts of caulking will eventually come loose, separate from what it is intended to seal, deteriorate more quickly, and admit water.  And then what would or could the remedy be?  More caulking?

The old adage measure twice and cut once could not be more basic or appropriate.  Why the "professionals" from 7-11 can't get that right speaks to their "professionalism!"

From my Oxford English Dictionary, sitting over my desk which I consult nearly every day: 

PRIDE - noun - a deep sense of satisfaction or pleasure derived from accomplishments or achievements; to be proud of a particular quality or skill.

My biggest beef with what I see every week in new construction concerns the word professionalism.

Professionalism  is on display less and less. 
Professionalism  seems to be sought less and less.
Professionalism  is diminishing as people seem to care less and less.

Years ago I wrote a blog entitled "A Golden Rule Business."  It is a truth.    Truths survive the years.  The Golden Rule could not apply more.  It has become The Tarnished Rule.

My recommendation:  The Golden Rule might not always be the easiest course of action, but it is ALWAYS the best!  It is truly a Best Practice.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 14 commentsJay Markanich • November 25 2015 02:13AM

Comments

Good morning Jay! Sometimes I wish chaulk was never invented. It does not disguise poor workmanship! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 4 years ago

Using the right stuff, and in the right places, it is as good as it gets Wayne.  Not done properly it isn't!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Gosh, that is pretty pathetic.  And, when it falls off, that's a huge gap.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 4 years ago

Agreed Debbie.  It likely won't last long.  Silliness on parade.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Shouldn't there be duct tape also with this job!

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 4 years ago

As permanent a seal as that would be, Raymond, doing it here would only work if the tape is white.

I say that knowing that there are many colors now in the duct tape industry!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Jay Markanich Great catch on your part and whenever I see excess caulking, I do not chalk it up to poor workmanship , but rather deception and or laziness.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc.) over 4 years ago

You mean it's not a filler for rotted wood? I bet there will be a ton of handymen not happy to hear about that! 

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 4 years ago

This is excellent information for home owners. Thanks for sharing your experience and you photographs.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 4 years ago

Thank you Roy, and same to you!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

We see others use caulking as a means of dry rot repair, it is not the solution. Professionalism seems to be a fading practice Jay!

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 4 years ago

'Tis, Tom, 'tis.

What, you can't use it to fix rot?  Say it ain't so, Joe!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Jay, I read this post s few days ago and completely agreed with your assessment.  Then yesterday I was on the JLG lift hanging lights and decided to re-caulk a window I missed a few years back.  You would have been appalled by what I found on this one window.  A 3/4" bead of caulk around the top and sides that didn't even touch the window itself!  It was so thick, it pulled away from the bricks like a big rope.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 4 years ago

Stephen - masonry is a difficult thing to caulk.  You really have to read the tube to make sure it can be used in a masonry application.  And 3/4" of a bead is a bead indeed!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments